So, you’re scrolling through your newsfeed and see a bunch of little weird round circles at the top of your feed. What on earth?!
Welcome to the world of stories, little snippets that are a quick way to share what your business is doing without the pressure of an official post. And let me tell you, since their release about a year ago, they’ve really taken off. Over 400 million people watch stories across the world today on Instagram alone (source).
Stories are meant to be a quick look of real-time happenings and stories for business can be a great way to show your business’s authenticity and personality. They combine the delivery of information you get with your posts and interactive elements that not only catch–but track–your engagement.
In this article, we’ll take you on a deep dive of the differences between the stories features on two of the most popular social media networks and give you some content ideas for making them for yourself.
How to Make Stories on Facebook
Since Facebook has so many users, which means a potentially huge audience to see your content, stories can be a creative way to get your message across. One idea of how to use your Facebook stories to celebrate monumental moments or big announcements. It is also a great alternative to making longer FB Live videos to reveal tips and tricks or promote a special or sweepstakes.
For us at Squishy Peanut, we have used stories in past as snippets and previews to our upcoming courses.
How to Post a story:
- On Facebook on mobile, there are a couple places to access your story. The way we are accessing it for the sake of this tutorial is on your profile. Scroll down to the “Your page’s story” and click on “create story.”
2. For the purpose of this article, we are using this little snowman as our subject. You’ll see three icons on the top right. Click on the first one that looks like a sticker.
Facebook has a somewhat limited index of stickers that you can put in and use, but the real exciting stickers are the interactive ones, the location, and the poll sticker.
When you use the ‘location’ sticker, you can tag locations and even businesses to let people know where you are. This is especially useful if you’re at a conference or event because you can share that so people can click through and see other posts from the same location.
The poll sticker is a customizable sticker that allows your audience to vote on something. This might come in handy if you’re trying to decide what discount to give for something, what product color people like better, or even something internal like what logo you should choose for your business.
3. The next button over is the text button. We are going to add a simple ‘Hello!’ to this snowman to see the options. With these, you can change the color, size, justification, and font style of your text.
4. The third icon on the top right is the drawing icon. This gives you the opportunity to draw and circle things, emphasize things, or add things you couldn’t find in the stickers. We are going to use this feature to draw some snowflakes for our snowman.
5. The last feature on Facebook stories is the filters feature. This gives you the chance to add elements to either the background or a face, though it can be a little distracting from the content of your story. We recommend staying away from these for business story use.
6. Now our story is done! Time to upload. If you click the arrow at the bottom right, you can choose whether to share your post to your newsfeed, story, or both. Keep in mind things you put on your story are only visible for 24 hours, so if you’re promoting a sale or special, we recommend doing at least a couple stories in the days leading up to your event.
How to Make Stories on Instagram
Because Instagram has the most creative options for fonts, stickers, and filters, it is the place for a little fun. This is the place to put behind-the-scenes looks at the everyday happenings of your business. New products, silly moments, and employee highlights are all great ways to use your Instagram story in a way that’s effective and memorable.
How to Post a story:
1. Open your Instagram and click on the “home” button on the far left.
2. Here you see your story interface. You’ll see there’s not only an option to add to stories, but there is an option to add the story to your story highlights. More on this to come. For now, we will just focus on a story. We’ll use the snowman again as an example.
3. Now this snowman is pretty cute by himself, but the image isn’t very interactive. Click on the first icon on the top right (the one that looks like a sticker). Here we see all the actions for interactive posting. There are two different types of interaction in this respect. The first is the tagging feature, which lets you share your location, mention someone, or hashtag something, and Instagram will link these back to the source. The other type of interaction is an input “form”, which includes polling, the slider feature, and the question bar. This gives your audience the chance to ask questions and share their opinions right from your story.
4. The button on the right on the top right of the story screen is the text button. You can change the color, size, and overall feel of your text until it’s right for you. Consult your brand standards guide to make sure your stories feel consistent with your graphics.
5. The middle icon in the icons on the top right is for drawing. We chose a neon blue to give this snowman some snowflakes around his hat. If you’re not happy with your drawing you can always ‘undo’ it at the top. When you are done with your drawing just click ‘done’ at the top to return to the story screen.
6. Now, simply click the little blue arrow on the bottom right of your screen to share. You can either post to your story, send directly to someone in a direct message, or both!
Your stories don’t have to just be your branded business content-feel free to get creative! The more you play with the settings and features, the better you’ll get. Want more on stories? Contact us for training on how to optimize your stories for your business needs!